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What NJ port do you feel offers the small boater 23' and under the best access to inshore fishing? I have a 22' Mako that I have run out of GE inlet for the past 12 years. I am seriously considering moving the boat to either Cape May or Shark river or Manasquan inlet. I like the idea of the north jersey location because of the great spring/early summer run of bass. Bluefish all summer on the inshore lumps all summer and fall. Flounder off the beach and reefs and the fall striper run.Cape May does have a good spring run but no bluefish for the summer or weakfish. It seems like GE has no spring run of bass , bluefish are available for about 2 weeks and then deepwater flounder and a fall bass run that doesn't compare to CM or North Jersey.Thanks
 

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You forgot two of the best options

Black Drum in the spring and Bluefin Tuna along 20 fathom line. The BFT fishing was not as good in July as recent years overall but still there were lots of 20-26 foot boats out there on nice days fishing for them. They had the best bite on BFT up north in years this past summer which may or may not repeat itself. Probably the best option would be trailor your boat so you can do it all as the June striper bite was fantastic up north from all reports I got. If you have never spring Black Drum fished I think you might really enjoy this also. Best of luck on your decision
 

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I have never really fished up north-but the last 6 seasons the boat has been docked in Cape May...the boat is 23ft -between the Cape may reef-the Delaware bay-the back bays-and out to the 20 or so mile mark...pretty much non-stop fishing...just my input hope it helps.
 

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Cape may

Cape may is i think the best small boat port. You have spring striper and drum in the dbay. The cape may reef, wildwood reef and delaware bay for fluke. If its bluefish you want head to 5 fathom bank or south shoal and you can catch them til your tired of catching them in july and august.

Last year i had about 10 mahi mahi and 5 trigger fish and i could still see the wildwood convention center.

Thresher sharks will come in and feed on the small blues and bunker at the south shoal and 5fb.

And like Capt john said, bluefin are usually on the 20fath line, not as much last year.

East lump is 19 miles, you get a steady pick a falsies, gator blues, spanish(if your lucky) mahi, and an occasional bluefin tuna. There were also a few kings caught last year with the water temp so warm.

good luck in whatever you decide..
 

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Cape may hands down, you have access to the barrier islands (back bay and inlet fishing) , multiple inlets are a short run from cape may harbor. Easy access to the Delaware Bay (striper and drum). Great inshore flounder fishing (old grounds, site 11) plenty of artificial reefs within 20 miles for wreck fishing. Short run to to inshore trolling grounds (5 fathom bank, the pimple , jacob jones, cigar, 19 fathom lump, Masseys, etc).

Best of luck
 

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Gotta go with Shark River, epic inshore fluke fishery with sandy hook and the shrewsbury rocks not 15 miles away. Very short ride to 2 of the biggest artificial reefs in the state- The Axel Carlson and the Sea Girt. Although, Manasquan gives you access to the whole barnegat bay and a similar proximity to the reef with ann only slighlty longer ride to the hook...
 

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ReelSick I defiantly have to say Manasquan Inlet. Pretty much every weekend from April to end of november I go through that inlet and there is nothing wrong with it.
During the summer / Fall run you always have bait and fish right outside the inlet.
Your 10-15 minuet jog from the Axel Carlson reef
10-15 minuets from the Sea girt reef
It like 45 minuets to the Red Church and Shrewsbury rocks.
9-10 times it is calm in the inlet.
There are alot of pieces of structure right around the inlet.
Your like 2 miles if that from the spring lake hotel which is a phenomenal fishing area.
Plus you get the great fisher in the Manasquan River, Barnigate bay.
 

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I am in Atlantic highlands/Sandy hook. If I was rich I would stay here for the early flounder and then stripper run. Then head down to capemay for some drum action. As soon as it gets going by sri for that epic striper run I would go there for a month or so. Then back to sh for bass, blues, fluke. There is also plenty of tuna at the mud hole late summer and into the fall but it is better to go there from sri. Maybe trailer the boat down a couple of times. The fall striper run is great up here in the fall. Not big fish but acres and acres of them. Of course the big ones do show up in cm. I like it better up here though with tons of schoolies and plenty of edible keepers mixed in. I fish right to the end of dec. catching keeper bass.
Good luck with your decision. For me I live an hours ride to sh. Be even worse going south.
 

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Shark River has been very very good to me. The inlet can get tricky if it gets sloppy. But, overall I have had my biggest and most fish out of that inlet from a 42lb striper multiple fluke in the 8 pound rang sea bass galour,Blackfish, Bluefish ect. Capemay is also a good choice. I fished out of an 18 foot alumacraft for years. Now have 22 Lund with 225 etech HO
 

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Shark River gives you a LOT of options to fish the river, to the beaches, rocks, mud hole, and up around sandy hook too. Plus, you can also swing south so it's about as good as it gets.

I trailer, and launch from Del Bay, Cape May, Great Bay, all the way up to Raritan Bay and have a pretty good perspective.

Good luck, good fishing.
 

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Cape may for another reason

Say it's blowing haed nw--you can fish the beach front.

Blowing 35 ne or n (if experienced) fish the beach in the del.bay
i think afew did it this year and caught good. Stalker was 1 i think. Blowing hard s there are places in the back that produce.
 

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I have a 20' that I trailer all the time. I fished Sandy Hook and did very well in the Spring. Absecon was good or me and Delaware Bay was off the hook for flounder.
If I had to pick one spot and live with it, it would be Cape May.
Best of both worlds is a slip up north for the spring then move down to the Cape.
 

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What NJ port do you feel offers the small boater 23' and under the best access to inshore fishing? I have a 22' Mako that I have run out of GE inlet for the past 12 years. I am seriously considering moving the boat to either Cape May or Shark river or Manasquan inlet. I like the idea of the north jersey location because of the great spring/early summer run of bass. Bluefish all summer on the inshore lumps all summer and fall. Flounder off the beach and reefs and the fall striper run.Cape May does have a good spring run but no bluefish for the summer or weakfish. It seems like GE has no spring run of bass , bluefish are available for about 2 weeks and then deepwater flounder and a fall bass run that doesn't compare to CM or North Jersey.Thanks
Right where you are... STAY PUT...

Others have told you all about the 20 line..(are you going out that far?.. NO, and even if you were foolish enough to try that in your small boat one inlet is no better than any other)

Drum in Del Bay? (only a small window for them, trail your boat down there for a week or two)

GE area has the intire bay to play in when the weather makes the ocean imposible and there are fish, plenty of them, you just have to explore, just like everywhere else...

But what this may really be about only you know,
the grass is allways greener on the other side ??... right????
 

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What NJ port do you feel offers the small boater 23' and under the best access to inshore fishing? I have a 22' Mako that I have run out of GE inlet for the past 12 years. I am seriously considering moving the boat to either Cape May or Shark river or Manasquan inlet. I like the idea of the north jersey location because of the great spring/early summer run of bass. Bluefish all summer on the inshore lumps all summer and fall. Flounder off the beach and reefs and the fall striper run.Cape May does have a good spring run but no bluefish for the summer or weakfish. It seems like GE has no spring run of bass , bluefish are available for about 2 weeks and then deepwater flounder and a fall bass run that doesn't compare to CM or North Jersey.Thanks
I've been runnig boats between 16' & 22' out of manasquan for 25 yrs. It's a great inlet and area for small boats. You've got tons of great fishing spots close by as well as dock and dine places and spots to hang out like treasure island or if you dare, F cove in the Bay & River. The only down side is it can get very crowded up here.
 

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I fish out of Shark River and love it. Short runs to the rocks, sea girt reef, axel carlson etc. Manasquan Inlet has it perks as well as you have a very viable fishery without going outside and you can cut through the canal and fish Barnegat Bay. Expect to pay considerably more if you chose Manasquan. Depending on where you are in Shark River and your clearance you have 3 bridges to deal with - manasquan 1 bridge.
 
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